We’ve come so far and achieved so much, and we owe a great deal of our success to our desires and ambitions. We have many desires, but some of them are so strong and common, that we feel they’re almost innate. Our desire to have is one such case, and the desire to collect is right next to it, as slowly we rose above the need to merely survive and started focusing on other things. Learning about what and why people collect and what makes these items so important and unique is fascinating, and we want to share it with you:
Collections for expressing loyalty
People collect things to express their loyalty to certain sports clubs, music bands, artists etc. When the impact of someone’s action, art or thought is strong enough to awaken admiration in people, all items associated with the subject become highly desired and collectable. The more intriguing the story behind them, the higher the price. This is why Paisley’s era Liverpool dress is worth more than today’s edition and why Freddy Mercury’s personal T-shirt is worth more than a souvenir from a movie set – because a truly loyal fan wants something special to make them feel connected with the object of their admiration. People are willing to pay large sums of money for items that were owned by their idols, and the price of a pair of boots can be $14,000 while a single autographed fedora can cost about $2,000.
Collections as extensions of our lives
Some people like to think about their collections as their legacy; something they will leave behind for future generations. Our life on Earth is short and we will leave this place the same way we came here – without a thing. Knowing this might be comforting for some people, while others may find it deeply disturbing. The memory of you will fade away and your grandchildren might know that you loved to read or played music only by your book or instrument collection. This is one of the reasons why a number of old people are very proud of the things they collected and love showing them to the members of their family. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about postcards, napkins, or rocks – leaving your collection behind makes people feel like they’re leaving a trace on Earth.
Collections and the feeling of accomplishment
Valuables were always attracting people’s attention since ancient times. Owning something valuable makes people feel like they’ve mastered something, accomplished a big goal. People fawn over their collections, they put a lot of time and money into research, they try to determine the specific conditions under which the item has been ‘discovered’, they argue over purity, authenticity, and the estimated value of an item. However, while some universal treasures such as gold coins, will always keep their value, others are depending on trends or someone’s decision to make them valuable. This is why some people collect old and rare banknotes and coins – in hopes that one day they will be in possession of valuable vintage coins and banknotes. Trying to predict what will be valuable in the future is difficult, but it’s what made quite a few people rich.
Let’s focus on the numbers for a bit – it seems as if young men between the age 18 and 25 are the most passionate about collecting items, as many of them state that they own more than a hundred objects. They probably collect smaller things such as car toys, comics, stickers, stamps, etc. As collectors grow older, their collecting appetites usually grow along with the size of their collections. Sadly, this means that they are often conflicted between saving money and spending it on a rare piece that they don’t already have in their collection (or they might simply lack storage space).
Other causes of collecting
There are many theories why people collect things in the first place, and the psychology has cast light on some pretty disturbing information too. There are people who feel the need to accumulate things they care about deeply because they feel the need to make up for the love they never got from their parents or caregivers. On the bright side, while they are focused on finding and obtaining items they care about, they often meet like-minded people who understand their reasoning. This is how many of them end up finding great friends and even partners on their ‘quest’ for the perfect additions for their growing collections.
Collecting things makes us unique from almost all other species on Earth. Similar to making love, we collect things for fun, because it gives us pleasure and a sense of satisfaction and pride. It happened once we decided to quit the nomad lifestyle and to settle down. Unfortunately, our insatiability could also lead to our extinction if we decide to take more than the Earth could ever possibly provide.